IDF Footage Shows Friday Riots Well-Organized, Not Spontaneous

YERUSHALAYIM -
A kite with a Molotov cocktail is flown by Palestinians during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border east of Khan Yunis, April 20. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

In a series of videos, the IDF has laid out how Hamas has been using the Friday riots at the border fence to commit acts of terror, the army said in a statement. “Far from being a ‘spontaneous gathering’ of Gazans to protest, the riots are well-organized, with Hamas clearly directing the activities, with the objective of doing as much damage to Israel as possible.

The videos were assembled from footage taken by drones over the past five weeks, as Hamas has brought thousands of Gaza Arabs to riot at the border fence as part of Hamas’s “March of Return,” ostensibly an attempt by Gaza Arabs to break through the fence and enter Israel. That effort is part of the Hamas plan, the IDF said, but the videos indicate that Hamas is just as interested, if not more so, in killing IDF soldiers and burning down Israeli farms and forests.

The drones followed the activities of Hamas terrorists throughout the week, as they prepared for the Friday riots. The videos show Hamas piling up sandbags, and burning tires on either side. The purpose is to set up a smokescreen which allows rioters to advance to the border fence.

Footage shows the rioters attempting to break through the fence, breaking off parts of it where possible. At the same time, however, the smokescreen hides the hundreds of kites that are being flown by Gaza Arabs over the border fence, seeking to set fire to Israeli farms and forests. Hundreds of such kites have been flown by Gaza Arabs in recent weeks. And the footage also shows Hamas gunmen in position, awaiting Israeli soldiers to come out and hold the rioters back, so they can shoot them.

The IDF said that it would continue to battle Hamas, and to prevent efforts by the terror group to turn the fence area into a battle zone. Many of the attempts to break through the border are opposite the Negev moshav of Kerem Shalom, which is just 400 meters from the fence, the army added.